Aaron Rodgers tends to shrug off adversity and an occasional poor performance. The reigning Most Valuable Player is staying true to form after an inept season-opening game against New Orleans.
Rodgers fully expects the Green Bay Packers to look a whole lot better in their home opener against the Detroit Lions on Monday night.
“I’m not going to make it bigger than it was. I’ll let you guys (in the media) and the outside world do that,” he said. “We’ve won a lot of games around here. We’ve lost a few, but you move on. Doesn’t matter if you play incredible and put up 50 or get blown out. You move on to the next opponent. … If we’re starting to freak out after one week, we’re in big trouble.”
The same player who threw 48 regular-season touchdowns and five more in the playoffs was held to 133 passing yards and got picked off twice in the 38-3 loss to the Saints on Sunday.
The offensive line and running backs didn’t help matters as the Packers were limited to 43 yards on 15 carries. The defense gave up five Jameis Winston touchdown passes.
A matchup with the Lions usually makes any troubles for Rodgers and the Packers go away. He’s led them to nine wins in 11 home games against the Lions with 21 touchdowns and just four interceptions. The Packers have also won their last eight home openers.
The Lions were down 24 to San Francisco in the fourth quarter of Dan Campbell’s head coaching debut, then scored 16 points and got the ball back to make things interesting in the closing seconds of a 41-33 loss.
“They had an opportunity right at the end of the game to tie the game,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “That tells you everything you need to know about the Detroit Lions.”
Campbell, an assistant head coach and tight ends coach with New Orleans before getting the Lions job, expects to see an angry Packers squad on Monday.
“New Orleans kicked the hornet’s nest, so we’re going to get everything they’ve got,” he said.
The 49ers gashed Campbell’s defense, averaging 8.0 yards per play. San Francisco also recorded a pick six against new Lions quarterback Jared Goff and sacked him three times.
“They’re coming off a loss. So are we,” Campbell said. “We don’t like that taste either. We’ve just got to clean it up. We’re trying to build a belief and a certain style of play.”
Goff bounced back from his early struggles, racking up 338 passing yards and three touchdowns. Running backs Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift combined for 93 yards on 20 carries and caught eight passes apiece.
Williams will have some extra motivation going against his former team for the first time. He signed a two-year contract with the Lions as a free agent in March.
“It’s the same old Jamaal that you saw when he was playing for us,” LaFleur said. “You could see it in the game against San Francisco, just competing to the best of his ability and getting tough yards and bringing a lot of energy and juice. I’m sure he will be fired up to come in here and play.”
Lions defensive back Jeff Okudah suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the opener. Wide receiver Tyrell Williams and defensive end Kevin Strong are in the league’s concussion protocol.
Packers offensive guard Lucas Patrick and tight end Josiah Deguara are under the same restrictions. Linebacker Za’Darius Smith (back) also missed Thursday’s practice.